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A successful season for Connacht Rugby continued with the selection of a number of players on Ireland teams.
Unashamedly and deservedly, the ‘Fields of Athenry’ was ringing loud and clear in Kingspan Stadium seven months ago. The hurt and frustration of failing to record a single win against Ulster in Belfast in 59 years ended - a ghost laid to rest at last.
Connacht's impressive development this season will be put to the test tomorrow at 3pm when play-off rivals Cardiff hit the Sportsground for the penultimate PRO14 conference fixture.
Connacht's impressive development this season will be put to the test on Saturday (3pm) when play-off rivals Cardiff hit the Sportsground for the penultimate PRO14 conference fixture.
Connacht's minds are now concentrated solely on Guinness PRO14 action, and the first of the final trio of conference games sees Andy Friend's side travel to Italy to take on Michael Bradley's Zebre on Saturday (6.30pm Irish time).
After Connacht's important victory over Perpignan last Saturday, coach Andy Friend instructed his players to savour the moment because next up was a massive challenge against the champions of Europe and the PRO14 title holders.
Connacht coach Andy Friend believes his team have what it takes to make the Champions Cup after watching them destroy a hapless Dragons side on Saturday. James Cannon and Colby Fainga’a scored their first tries for the province in a 33-12 bonus point win that carried them up to fifth in the Pro14 Conference A table. Seven Pro14 teams qualify for the Champions Cup and Friend reckons his squad can kick on and grab one of the spots. They are certainly benefiting from the impact of Australian imports David Horwitz and Fainga’a and optimism currently abounds.
Connacht coach Andy Friend is prepared to "roll the dice" in his selections this week ahead of the Dragons' visit the the Sportsground on Saturday.
Connacht's heavy hitters are expected to return this week for a pivotal Pro14 fixture against Ospreys in Wales.
Connacht’s heavy hitters are expected to return this week for a pivotal Pro14 fixture against Ospreys in Wales.